I'm a lifelong Vancouver Canucks fan, but my real passion now is football (soccer) in general and Newcastle United in particular.
I started supporting the Magpies during Kevin Keegan's first spell with the club. They played a wonderfully entertaining, up-tempo, attacking style of football that caught my eye. It certainly didn't hurt that former local Vancouver hero Peter Beardsley was playing up front next to the always-dangerous Les Ferdinand. Toon legend Alan Shearer soon followed and Newcastle managed back-to-back 2nd place finishes in the mid-90s, followed by FA cup final losses in 1998 and 1999.
Alas, those were the glory years. Although Newcastle won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2006, they have been in and out of European competition in recent years. Since the departure of manager Sir Bobby Robson in 2004, five different men have occupied the post, including a brief return for Keegan. The club is in desperate need of some stability after this recent rocky spell, and hopefully a new ownership group will provide that in the coming year.